2021 United States Grand Prix Preview

As Formula One heads to Texas, United States for the first time since 2019, here is a full guide to 2021 US Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton looks to bounce back in his title fight against Max Verstappen.

Having lost his championship lead in Turkey, Hamilton arrives in Austin, Texas, with a six point deficit to Verstappen as both drivers enjoy strong race records in America which sets up a mouth-watering clash with just five further races left of this season.

Mercedes meanwhile hold a 36 point lead over Red Bull in the Constructors’ championship but both teams know that every point between now and end of the season will matter, whilst McLaren continue to tussle with Ferrari in the fight for third as all four teams look to kick-start their run-in on a high.

Haas meanwhile will be seeking positive progress at their home race despite looking uncompetitive all season, having already switched focus to their 2022 car design before this campaign even began.

Now, here is everything that you need to know ahead of the 2021 US Grand Prix.

 

Track Guide

COTA Layout

Circuit: Circuit of the Americas

Laps: 56

Race Distance: 308.405km

Tyre Compounds: C2, C3 & C4

 

Schedule

Date Session Time (BST)
Friday 22 October FP1 5:30pm
Friday 22 October FP2 9:00pm
Saturday 23 October FP3 7:00pm
Saturday 23 October Qualifying 10:00pm
Sunday 24 October Race 8:00pm

 

Five Key Pointers

  • With MotoGP riders earlier this month reporting ‘bad bumps’ across the circuit which have since been worked on by track officials, Friday Practice will be crucial in understanding how the car handles across a flying lap and discovering where the bumps exactly are located.
  • In F1’s last visit to USA in 2019, there were a mixture of tyre strategies at play so understanding tyre degradation in FP2 will be important in deciding their race strategies.
  • A clean start with brakes up to temperature will be key for those who find themselves in midfield heading into the tight opening uphill corner in the race.
  • Braking will be key at Turn 11 because any lock-ups could leave drivers out wide and vulnerable down the back straight towards Turn 12, which could well cause rear stability issues if there is a gusty wind in that direction.
  • Lewis Hamilton should be the driver to beat this weekend given Mercedes’ dominant form in dry sessions in the last two races, plus the Brit has finished on the podium in eight of nine visits here.

 

Last Time Out

Valtteri Bottas won from pole position in F1’s last visit to USA in 2019 after executing a two-stop strategy to take the checkered flag from Hamilton, who recovered from fifth on the grid to finish second and clinch his sixth title as Verstappen settled for third.

Sebastian Vettel was the most notable retiree in an otherwise largely strategy driven race, as he ran over a bumpy section of the exit kerb at turn nine on lap eight which destroyed the right-rear suspension of his then Ferrari.

 

Race Recaps

If missed any of the 16 previous rounds of the 2021 season, please click on the links below to catch up on the missed action.

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